Southern women honored at luncheon

(L-R) Honorees Patricia “Sister Schubert” Barnes, Lucy Anne Buffett and the honorable Patricia M. Smith. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

The Grand Ballroom of The Club was filled with distinctive honorees and guests at the 2011 Southern Women of Distinction Benefit Luncheon sponsored by the Southern Women’s Committee of Fifty.

Chair Debbie Anderson and Treasurer Sandra Cleveland organized the fundraiser, which supports two different charities a year. They were assisted by committee members: Dr. Sara Alvarez, Kim Mangham Barelare, Dr. Anne Bishop, Debbie Butterworth, Larue Carter, Doris Davis, Kelly DeFazio, Deborah Flatt, Frankie Gaddy, Jenny Griffith, Terri Gualano, Mary Jo Hand, Carol Hill, Alicia Huey, Sue Nuby, Sally Price, Dr. Janice Roberts, Patricia Thompson and Marilyn Waggoner.

The Lovelady Center and the Community of Hope were the non-profits selected this year.

The Lovelady Center is a 24/7 home for women, recently released from prison, and their children where they can live together and gain skills to live independently. Brenda Spahn, director of the Lovelady Center, spoke of the tremendous growth in the last six years. From six women living in Spahn’s home to 377 women and 115 children residing in the renovated East End Memorial Hospital, Lovelady is an example that one woman can make a difference to change lives.

The Community of Hope is a free health clinic in Shelby County for persons with no medical insurance. Executive Director Chris Monceret spoke of the volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists and ophthalmologists who give of their time one night a week to the sick. Hope is the only medical mission in Shelby County.

The luncheon raised thousands of dollars for these two wonderful charities. It also honored three women of distinction: Patricia “Sister Schubert” Barnes, Lucy Anne Buffett and the honorable Patricia M. Smith, women with successful careers.

2010 Honoree Lenora Pate gave the opening remarks, and Steve Brickman, Sirote and Permutt, P.C., gave the invocation. Irene Collins presented proclamations from Gov. Robert Bentley to each honoree.

Anderson introduced both Barnes and Buffett who spoke of their careers and philanthropies. Secretary of State Beth Chapman introduced her friend, Justice Smith, who also spoke of her career as one of the longest serving judges in Shelby County.

The luncheon was attended by many Columbiana friends: Ouida Mayfield, Janice Falkner, Gail Davis, Beth Strickland, Carol Hill, Gerri Kelley, Marsha Parsons, Nancy Drakos, Betty Holcombe, Betty Broome and daughter Jenise Spurlock, Glenda Joiner Howell, Peg Hill, Linda Major, Anne Davis, Sue Ellen Vittitow, Ann Head, Becky Goggins, Cindy Kelly, Judge Jim Fuhrmeister and Sheriff Chris and Pam Curry.

Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by email at phoeberobinson@bellsouth.net.

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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